Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

February 14, 2013

OSSM gives students extra edge

TAHLEQUAH — For high school juniors and seniors preparing for a globally-competitive workforce, the ability to get individual guidance while learning advanced concepts is a crucial part of seeding career success.

The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics’ two-year residential school was established through legislative efforts in 1983 to offer secondary students an option of advanced learning before going to college. OSSM graduated its first class of students in 1992.

The public high school was providing the needed push and guidance sought from many students willing to move to the 32-acre Oklahoma City campus, but it was later deemed that students attending schools in rural areas of Oklahoma needed to have the same source of learning.

The OSSM Regional Centers were created through Senate Bill 1 during the 1997 legislative session to meet this need. As a result, OSSM outreach programs are now being offered at CareerTech facilities in Afton, Ardmore, Burns Flat, Chickasha, Drumright, Enid, Muskogee, Poteau, Shawnee, Stilwell, Sallisaw, Wayne and Tahlequah.

Area students attend AP calculus and physic classes on the Indian Capital Technology Center campus here in Tahlequah, as well as in Stilwell, Sallisaw and Muskogee.

“We’ve probably had about at least 30 engineers who have come through this program,” said OSSM AP calculus instructor Gil Brown. “We’ve had five doctors come through this program. There are some veterinarians, and those are just the ones I know of. We’ve had about 240 graduates.”

Amanda Butler, the AP physics teacher, shares the alternating schedule with Brown. Students meet with Brown and Butler on the ICTC campus on a rotating schedule. Students interested in applying for the program need to have a solid background in Algebra 2 and physical science, Butler said.

“If they’ve had physical science, then they’ve had some of the concepts that we’ll cover. The other sciences would help them be able to interpret graphs, read information for a problem and stuff like that,” she said. “More than anything in my class, it’s the ability to do the algebra, do the math and then to be able to decipher what the problem is asking. That’s the thing with physics that makes it so challenging and so fun. You have to be able to decipher what is being asked.”

Brown said students approaching their junior and senior years of high school who may be considering applying, but are hesitant to do so because of preceived weak math skills, need to review their commitment to studying.

“I think there are some people more apt for it than other people. The thing that will level the playing field is the work ethic. If somebody will just work at it, that’s their equalizer,” he said. “All of the schools send us their kids – Tahlequah, Sequoyah, Hulbert and Keys. We get fantastic students from those schools. Their teachers are doing something right. ”

Anne Linebarger, a junior at Tahlequah High School, said the OSSM program offered at ICTC should be viewed as a valued resource.

“It’s a fantastic experience for anyone, even if you’re not going into science or math,” she said. “Just the learning atmosphere and the kind of attention you get here really doesn’t compare to anything you’ll get at a normal high school. It’s really great.”

Fellow THS junior Lacey Kelley said interested students need to keep the benefits of the OSSM program in mind when entering the competitive application process.

“The application isn’t really that bad,” she said. “I love it here. You can’t get all of this at the high school. The class size is so small, and that’s helpful when you’re learning.”

Nina Hatami, a junior attending THS, concurs with her peers about the program’s effectiveness. She noted the extended benefit of establishing friendships with students from other schools and other ICTC campuses.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-Sherman-Alexie.jpg Native wit

    Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
    Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
    Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rock-jodi.jpg Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review

    A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
    Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-SchoolCharter.jpg Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote

    With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
    Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets suspended sentence for possession

    A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
    Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.

    April 24, 2014

  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks